From the Publisher
"Powerful and unique, The Vicious Deep gripped me with its edgy voice and authentic, compelling characters. Zoraida Córdova has created a fearless new world." - Trisha Wolfe, author of Destiny's Fire
"I cannot stress enough how well Zoraida told this story from a REAL guy's POV. It was like being inside a guy's head, no holding back, embarrassing moments and all, and the feelings that guys usually cover with humor or sarcasm are stripped down to their raw truth. It's just awesome on a whole new level. If that was the only reason to read this book, it would be more than enough, but the story has many layers and an amazing plot, too. Original sea creatures, fun side characters that heighten the adventure, and a deep, memorable romance that made me ache-I'm squirming to get my hands on the next book to find out the next part of Tristan's story. He is my new book boyfriend and I will fight for him!Original sea creatures, fun side characters that heighten the adventure, and a deep, memorable romance that made me ache-I'm squirming to get my hands on the next book to find out the next part of Tristan's story. He is my new book boyfriend and I will fight for him!... Zoraida Córdova mastered the written word, and created a fearless new world. This is a must read for every YA lover out there." - YA Bound
"HOLLA! T I love that the mermaids in THE VICIOUS DEEP are being described as something much darker and nastier. As much as I adore Ariel and King Trident and their sweet, weepy moment at the end of The Little Mermaid and their generally likable dispositions, I've always LOVED reading about the vindictive, manipulative side of mythological creatures who have little care for humanity. I can't wait to see what happens with Tristan and his battle to be KING OF THE OCEAN. Sounds so epic." - Tripping Books
"I so appreciated the quirky, funny voice of this fun and fantastic adventure story about a teenaged Brooklyn merman prince, the sea witch out to get him and the human girl he loves." - Sarvenaz Tash
"This mythical tale is a great read told on land and below the sea. These mermaids are not the lovely creatures you know - they may be beautiful but they are also deadly. Córdova gives us a great new ending to The Little Mermaid. Boys and girls will enjoy this book, because while there's a romance here, there's also a good amount of action. 4 Stars." - RT Book Reviews
""[A] multilayered debut . . . what she [Córdova] does exceedingly well is capture an authentic 16-year-old male voice and viewpoint . . .the great title, killer jacket, and edgy portrayal of the mythical creatures should cast a wide readership net." - Booklist" - Booklist
""I am so impressed with THE VICIOUS DEEPfinally a mermaid novel has been done 100% right!"- Jen, Literally Jen" - Literally Jen
"" The Vicious Deep is incredibly original and is plump full of funny, witty, charming, likeable characters"- Blogger Emireally, Night Owl Teen " - Night Owl Teen
""Cordavo kept you on the edge of your seat. "- Blogger Loretta, Between The Pages " - Between The Pages
""...this book was written for [teen boys]!"- Blogger Elizabeth, Alamosa Books " - Alamosa Books
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Tristan Hart loves the ocean. He's on the swim team, works as a lifeguard, and hangs out at the beaches near Coney Island. He is a charming guy and a bit of a player, but now he's mainly interested in Layla, a swim-team buddy who's matured to fill her swimsuit most attractively. When a rogue wave knocks him unconscious, he dreams of a vicious shark/mermaid. Over the next chapters, his skin begins to itch, he wonders about his mother's complete lack of contact with her relatives, and, by chapter 10, he is aghast to learn that he is growing a tail. Tristan is not just any merman. He is Lord Tristan, grandson of the Sea King. Two protectors appear, taking human shape and showing him how to control the shift from legs to tail. They have Tristan's same charm with the opposite sex, and their awkward presence at school provides some light moments. Together (with Layla as a stowaway) they sail to meet his grandfather on a hidden island. Tristan and Layla learn the history of merfolk and meet fairies, vampires, and other nonhumans. To determine who will be the new king, five champions must battle to find three pieces of a broken trident. There are amusing sidekicks and horrifying creatures (merrows) and run-ins with the mysterious shark/mermaid as the teams hunt for oracles to offer assistance. Occasional cursing and lustful thoughts suggest an older teen audience. This book screeches to a halt when Tristan finds a piece of the trident. For fantasy readers who don't mind waiting for the remainder of the story, this book offers an inventive beginning.—Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley School, Fort Worth, TX
Another mermaid book joins the flood. Tristan Hart "was born at sea." It's no wonder he is the star of the high-school swim team and a Coney Island lifeguard. But while Tristan always prided himself on swimming like a fish, he never imagined he'd become one. When a rescue attempt in stormy seas nearly robs Tristan of his life and leaves him with some unexpected physical side effects, the truth shakes Tristan to the very last scale of his newly sprouted fishtail. Son of a human father and a mother whose distress over their son's transformation never feels truly genuine, Tristan discovers he is heir to the Sea King's throne and must compete in a tournament to lay claim to the kingdom. With his best friend and secret love, Layla, and his mer-guardians, Kurt and Thalia, by his side, Tristan battles creatures from the deep on land, at sea and in his own mind. Herein lies one of the novel's greatest problems. Despite the alluring title, the creatures in this story, with the exception of one particularly scary excommunicated mermaid, simply aren't that vicious. In fact, their descriptions--like the small, round half-man, half–blow fish--seem more suited to one of the original Star Wars movies than contemporary teen fiction. Neither vicious nor deep, the novel is mildly entertaining and will likely appeal most to dedicated mer-fans. (Paranormal romance. 14 & up)
Read an Excerpt
I hear the first wave before I see it—
Hear the rumble of the sky that reaches down to the belly of the sea, hear the clouds that appear out of nowhere. They churn and curl inside themselves in big gray mouths across the sky. The sky that up to a few seconds ago was perfect and blue.
I'm standing at the bottom of the lifeguard tower. The white-washed wood is warm where I lean my arm. It's supposed to be mine and Layla's shift, but I've given up my seat so she can sit with Maddy. Together they sit up top in that way girls do when they're joined in a single purpose—and that's loathing me with all their evil-eyed, purse-lipped, cross-armed attitude. And I take it like a man, because after what I did to Maddy, that's the least I can do to make things right.
I can't shake the feeling of water stuck in my ear. But that could also be because I'm hungover, which means I shouldn't be swimming or actually trying to save anyone's life. I hate not showing up for work or a meet. I may be a lot of things, but flaky isn't one of them.
Behind me is a stretch of the Coney Island boardwalk, and behind that are Luna Park, Nathan's Hot Dogs, and the Cyclone. There's Sideshows by the Seashore and the unused parachute tower, which is the best place to take a girl on a cheap date after all the rides are shut down. I've come here every day since I can remember. There's just something in the air that makes you want to be here. It's in the screams and thrills of the rickety rides that have been running longer than most people's grandparents have been alive. In the food courts that sell you questionable but delicious meat. It is beauty and grime all mixed in one, and I love being in the middle of it. Plus, chicks love lifeguards.
Chicks who aren't Layla and Maddy—at least, not anymore. I can hear Maddy whisper to Layla, and both of them scoff. A group of girls walks past me. They're the same bunch of girls who have been pacing back and forth in bikinis too small for their goods, and on any other day, I wouldn't be complaining. They hold paddling boards with Hawaiian flower patterns on them, even though their hair is ironed perfectly straight and their fake eyelashes haven't been touched by the water.
I know what Maddy and Layla are thinking—that I'm enjoying the way these girls tiptoe around shells, winking in my direction. Sure, they're regular-hot, but they're doing the Lifeguard Catwalk from one end of the beach to the other. It's when girls are on the prowl to pick us up, and honestly, I'm not the only one they're checking out. No matter what a lifeguard looks like, the girls just go nuts. They're past our station now and halfway down to Jerry, who isn't exactly a girl magnet, but, hey, lifeguards are the more naked version of firemen—the girls just love the uniforms. In my case, the orange Speedo.
Suddenly, Layla's laugh cuts through the noise around us—girls giggling on beach towels taking turns pouring baby oil on their already browned shoulders, cops in a 4x4 giving some kids hell because they're drinking, two little girls fighting over a pink plastic shovel. Layla's laugh has a certain effect on me. It always comes from her gut when she thinks something is really funny. When we were little, we'd have contests to see who had the best evil-villain laugh. She'd always win. I glance up at her, and my hungover stomach does a flip. She smirks with her heart-shaped lips, listening to Maddy, who wears a T-shirt over her bathing suit. I can practically feel their eyes rolling into the back of their heads. Probably about me.
Something catches Layla's attention on the shore. She lowers the aviators she "borrowed" from her dad right to the tip of her nose. I follow her stare toward some guy wearing only ripped pants and looking like he just washed up on shore from a sinking ship. The water bounces off his shoulders like light on glass. I really hate kids who wear clothes to the beach. It's the beach. If you don't want to tan, stay at home. That must be the reason she's staring. He stands with one hand blocking the sun from his eyes, scanning the crowd. What he needs to look for is a pair of trunks and a towel.
I blow my whistle lightly, even though no one is doing anything wrong. The little girls still fighting over the shovel think it's at them, and they stop, so at least that's something.
That's when my ears start feeling clogged and my head a little fuzzy, like when I sit too long on the lifeguard tower without a cap. That's when people start standing up and looking out at the water. That's when people start screaming.